Bobby Earl Williams

Funky Superfly

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To JB or not to JB -- that is the question, and Bobby Williams answers in the affirmative with his 1974 debut LP Funky Superfly. There are worse ways to spend a career than imitating James Brown, and Williams does it with a style and energy second to none -- with its raw indie label production and amphetamine rhythms, the album even boasts a gutbucket grittiness missing from the Godfather's slick mid-'70s efforts. The band certainly lacks the virtuosity of the J.B.'s -- what backing combo doesn't? -- but the sheer edginess of the grooves and the raw exuberance of Williams' vocals are undeniably potent; if you dig James Brown, you will dig this.